The number of elderly drivers in Massachusetts is increasing due to the “Baby Boomers” generation. While many folks can continue to drive without impairment, some elderly drivers can become a liability when they continue to drive well into their later years. Many factors may arise in our twilight years, from arthritis pain and weakened muscles, to use of prescription medications and mental issues like Alzheimers disease.
Independence vs Safety
Nobody wants to have to take the keys away from an elderly loved one. Driving represents independence and freedom, in addition to providing mobility. State lawmakers largely sidestep the issue, so it’s up to families to take action when a loved one is no longer a safe driver.
If you suspect that an older family member’s driving skills have seriously deteriorated, take a ride with them. Note whether they have trouble judging gaps in traffic, following traffic signals and road signs, maneuvering or parking the car, or remembering the route. Being aware and taking action may prevent a tragic car accident. It may be difficult, but it can save lives.
Elderly Driver Evaluations In Massachusetts
American Medical Association guidelines for physicians to help them medically assess the ability of older drivers to continue driving. Includes current screening laws and regulations from all 50 states as well as a comprehensive list of diseases which may impair driving.
Massachusetts is no exception. Many Massachusetts hospitals and rehabilitation centers offer driving evaluations to assess the physical and mental condition of elderly drivers.
*The above is not to be considered as legal advice. Every case is different and the laws which apply may differ from state to state.
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